Weeknight Crispy Orange Beef
This Weeknight Crispy Orange Beef recipe is quickly becoming one of my favorites, in part because it comes together so quickly; it’s on my table faster than my local delivery guy can make it to my apartment with the same version.
To make this simple dinner recipe even easier on a weeknight, stop off at a Chinese/Thai/Japanese restaurant on your way home and pick up a container or two of cooked white or brown rice to serve with the beef. You can certainly make your own rice at home of course, but doing it this way adds to the sneaky “I just made takeout in my own kitchen” feel!
This recipe is easily doubled to serve more than 2.
Resist the urge to slice the skirt steak thinly; each piece should be at least half an inch thick. If you slice too thin, the slices have a tendency to fall apart while frying.
- ½ pound skirt or flank steak sliced against the grain
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 TB orange juice (if you want to use fresh squeezed, this is about 1/2 an orange)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 TB light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon chile flakes
- 2 T thinly sliced orange rind
- ½ T grated ginger
- ½ TB plus ¼ cup peanut oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups cooked white or brown long grain rice
- diced scallions, green parts only for serving (optional)
Toss the beef slices in the soy sauce, then the cornstarch to coat. Place in the freezer to chill while you ready the sauce.
In a medium bowl, combine the rice vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil and brown sugar. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a dry pan over low-medium heat, toast the chile flakes, orange rind, and ginger until the orange is fragrant. Add ½ TB peanut oil and the garlic and stir, cooking until the garlic starts to lighten in color.
Pour in the rice vinegar mixture, and stir to combine.
Let the sauce reduce and thicken, stirring often, until it is syrupy and coats the back of a serving spoon (about 3-5 minutes.)
Remove the sauce from heat and pour into a medium bowl and set aside. Clean the pan and return it to the stovetop.
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup peanut oil over medium heat until shimmering.
Take the beef out of the freezer and add to the oil slice by slice, leaving a little room between each. Work in batches if you need to. Cook the beef until the first side is browned and crispy, then turn and do the other side. Place the cooked slices on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
Toss the cooked beef slices in the sauce until coated, then serve immediately over rice. Garnish with diced scallions.
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